V8 Supercars – FPR Race 3 Hidden Valley Wrap

June 19, 2011

V8 Supercars

QUALIFYING:

Mark Winterbottom claimed his second pole in two days in the closest qualifying session of 2011
Will Davison was unlucky not to join his team-mate on the front row and lined up sixth, just 0.14s off the ultimate pace
Paul Dumbrell missed a gear shift on his hot lap and could only manage 19thdespite being only 0.41s off pole
 
HOW IT UNFOLDED:
– Winterbottom made another good start and cleared away from front-row partner Jamie Whincup though was passed into turn one by Lee Holdsworth who was one of only two drivers to start on the soft tyre
– Davison also made a quick start and even passed soft tyre starter Whincup briefly before settling into fifth
– Dumbrell had a trouble-free start and cycled through to second on the road when the safety car was deployed on lap 12 when the team decided not to pit him
– Winterbottom was the highest-placed driver on hard tyres in third and when the safety car was deployed he along with most of the field pitted and he rejoined seventh
– Davison stayed on track to avoid queuing behind his team-mate and gained the lead which he held after the restart until lap 21
-Winterbottom charged back through the field to third after his pit stop and stayed in the podium places for more than 20 laps until his final stop on lap 46 where he fitted soft tyres
– Dumbrell remained in the top 10 on worn tyres and finally pitted at the end of lap 27 and although he dropped to 23rd, like his team-mates he rapidly gained places in a 30-lap stint which saw him climb as high as seventh before his final stop
– Davison eventually pitted from fourth on lap 28 and though he rejoined in 22nd he then drove a brilliant 24-lap stint where he was the fastest car on hard tyres
– He climbed as high as second and pitted at the end of lap 52 for soft tyres
– Davison then went on another charge and passed five cars in two laps at one point of the race
– A safety car on lap 59 bunched the field up and when the race restarted on lap 62 Winterbottom was third, Davison 14th and Dumbrell 21st
– Dumbrell gained 10 places in the final seven laps to finish 11th after starting 19th
– Davison gained seven places in the same period and claimed seventh by race end after two very quick stints to finish the race
– Winterbottom held on for third and scored the team’s fourth podium of the season
– He has also claimed pole position in the last three championship races

DRIVERS’ VIEW
Mark Winterbottom – #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon
Qualifying: 1st – 1m09.79s
Race 13: 3rd – Fastest lap: 1m09.82s
Championship position: 9th – 961 points
“It was good to get back-to-back poles and it shows just how dominant we have been here. They were also a big confidence booster for the team. The race went ok and our hard tyre pace was pretty good and then when we put the soft tyres on it was the right time. Our pace was much better on them than it has been in recent races and though we still have a bit of work to do, the improvement is just reward for the team which has worked so hard since the last event. Overall it was a pretty good weekend and a podium isn’t a bad result. We have now claimed the last three pole positions, we won in Townsville last year and we should make more gains at our test day next week and hopefully start winning races.”
Will Davison – #6 Trading Post FPR Falcon
Qualifying: 6th – 1m09.93s
Race 13: 7th – Fastest lap: 1m10.52s
Championship position: 6th – 1020 points
“All in all it was a cleaner day. Unfortunately the strategy worked against me to an extent, but then it actually allowed me to get back to the front late in the race so we can be pleased the car worked much better today. There was nothing in qualifying and we could have been on the front row given we only need a fraction of a second, so that was encouraging. I made a great start and I was able to run with the lead cars on the hard tyres early. During the safety car we decided not to pit and gained the lead in hope we’d get a late safety car. Our pace was really good on the hards the whole race and we were also quick when we made the late change to softs. It would have been nice to be higher up but we still charged through to seventh and had we had a few more laps we would have picked a few more off. The key thing is the car was much better today than it was yesterday so we are making progress and scoring a good haul of points again.”
 
Paul Dumbrell – #55 The Bottle-O FPR Falcon
Qualifying: 19th – 1m10.20s
Race 13: 11th – Fastest lap: 1m09.92s
Championship position: 19th – 616 points
“Qualifying was disappointing as I missed a gear on my quick lap and it cost us 10 spots. We improved the car a lot which was positive and all FPR cars were quite strong. We kept ourselves out of trouble early in the race and we ran second after the first safety car when we chose not to pit. Then we wanted a late safety car which we got, but then in the mid-pack there were lots of cars really close together so I was losing big chunks of time but we went basically from last through to 11th so it wasn’t exactly a bad result, it just would have been nice to be further to the front. We have ticked a few boxes here this weekend and I would like to think we can continue the momentum we’ve built here this weekend.”
Tim Edwards – FPR Team Principal:
“It was nice for the team to finally taste some champagne after all the hard work they’ve put in over the last few weeks. Mark again showed his dominance with a second pole position in two days and although we didn’t quite get the win he deserved, the entire team put in a really strong performance which would have been even better had we not had the two safety car periods. Will drove arguably the best he has since joining the team and was easily the fastest car on hard tyres in the middle part of the race. A great effort and seventh could easily have been a podium had luck fallen his way. Paul also recovered well after yesterday’s dramas, so overall we have made big gains here and want to continue the momentum in Townsville.”
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